Home / sports / Indian bookie laid ‘Honey Trap’ during ICL in 2008: Vincent

Indian bookie laid ‘Honey Trap’ during ICL in 2008: Vincent

Wellington (PTI): Banned for life for match-fixing, disgraced New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent revealed how an ”Indian bookie” posing as a sports equipment sponsor laid ‘honey Trap’ for him during the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) back in 2008.

In interviews to New Zealand radip channels ‘Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport’, Vincent revealed how he was taken aback to find that his “hero” was involved in fixing and how he was unable to refuse him from taking part in the ‘big fix’.

“I looked at ICL as a great way to get away from New Zealand, take the family and live overseas. And it was good money. Throughout our NZ career, we got proper education regarding bookie approaches. Here I go to ICL and I was trying to get comfortable, trying to get excited playing with new team,” Vincent said.

“Then the phone rings. Happens all the time when you are in India. On other end of the phone was an Indian guy, who wanted me to use his (sports) gear. His batting equipment and I said “yeah I will be interested.

Vincent then revealed how different he felt as he walked into the hotel room of this so-called bat manufacturer from the ones he had visited on earlier tours.

“It has happened before on other tours as well, where you walk into the room and see all the equipment spread across and you pick up bits and pieces. You then negotiate a deal and come out saying ‘thank you’.

“But here, I walk into the room and see there was nothing there. A young gentleman was sitting and a lady whom I thought at that point was his wife at the end of the bed,” the former right-hander said.

So she wasn’t his wife, the RJ questioned, to which Vincent replied, “No she wasn’t. She was the ‘Honey Trap’. It took me about half an hour to realize that. As I was speaking to him, I asked him where’s the gear and he said that it was at the Conceirge (hotel lobby).

“Then, when I tried to go to the bathroom and he put his foot on the door and said that that she (lady in question) is gift to you from our company. That’s when the penny drops. This looks a bit dodgy. I declined,” Vincent stated.

“Then (the man) he drops in a big wad of cash, about 15 grands in US dollars and says that’s the downpayment for sponsorship for you. Our business and sponsorship is for life. That’s when I realized that I got to get out of the situation. and leave the money with him,” the 35-year-old Vincent said.

“Only way to leave the money was to put it in the safe with my coat in his room. Then I walked down to meet my agent, who had come over from New Zealand, helping set up ICL. I explained what has happened and I believe from there the tournament directors were notified.”

Vincent said that his immediate reaction was to share his experience with his “hero” as he knocked on his door.

“I told him that this is what has happened. I have just been approached and I told him that I have reported the matter to my agent and all has been taken care of. There was an eerie silence.

“He (the hero) took a deep breath and I can’t forget the face. He then said, “That’s a good cover as you are working for me. And that’s how my life changed,” said Vincent, who played 23 Tests, 102 ODIs and 9 T20 Internationals for the ‘Black Caps’.

When the RJ asked as to why he didn’t refuse his (the hero) offer, Vincent sounded helpless, “I couldn’t say “No”. This guy was my hero and he took me under his wing. I was so empowered by him. His aura as a legend and the honour of playing cricket with him. It was like “Yes Sir”.”

Vincent also admitted that he couldn’t take his “hero’s name due to legal reasons.
“He (the hero) is not my friend and not my hero any more.”

But Vincent said that he doesn’t hate the person any more.

“No I don’t (hate). I have learnt to forgive. That is a powerful tool actually to deal with pain and stress. To be able to accept that bad things can happen and you need to accept, forgive and move on.”

Vincent also revealed how for the first time, he had ruined the fix as he was supposed to get out early and earned his “hero’s” wrath.

“This guy (the hero) walking with a bat above my head pacing up and down in the hotel room, spitting and fuming. He told me that (ruining the fix) it cost him not 23,000 USD but millions. I was broken. I said “My God. May be he is thinking that I am working for someone else.”

“The 4-5 whatever we have done (fixed), he owes me lot of money. About 250,000 USD and that’s all gone. I have disgraced the game, in front of crowds and on TV with fellow Indian players. That’s horrendous.”

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